Living near Tampa—the so-called “lightning capital”—and having a college-golfer (and budding engineer) daughter who plays daily, I’m always a bit jittery about localized storms that pop up regularly here during the summer. With a 60% chance of t-storms this afternoon, she says she’ll keep tabs with a couple of weather apps, and as long as it’s just rain, she’ll pull on her gear and play through it (because that’s what she would have to do in a tournament).
But it’s not just lightning that golfers think about during play. Watch Science of Golf: Meteorology and Weather, which explores the development of weather conditions and events and their impact on the game. Although players can use smartphones to access weather data during a round, they aren’t allowed to actually measure conditions on the course. The United States Golf Association (USGA) recently amended the Rules of Golf to clarify how players use these devices. In fact, they included a flowchart that reflects the same kinds of flowcharts engineers use as they develop systems.
NBC Learn’s partnership with the USGA and Chevron brings you yet another application of science concepts in the world of sports. While golf may not be your or your students’ favorite, it rates highly as a lifetime sport, or one that people participate in whether they are 8 or 80. So take a look at the NSTA-developed companion lesson plans and consider taking your science to the course!
SOG: Meteorology and Weather discusses how wind, humidity, and temperature can all impact the next golf shot and examines how weather prediction is crucial for planning and safety at every golf tournament.
STEM Lesson Plan—Adaptable for Grades 7–12
SOG: Meteorology and Weather describes how students might design a golf glove for rainy play or a weather monitoring system, or explore how best to hit a golf ball in strong wind. It also provides ideas for STEM exploration plus strategies to support students in their own quest for answers.
Image of hail on a course, courtesy of Alan English CPA.
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